Violence against women widespread in Indonesia: Survey

June 27, 2017

A UNFPA-supported survey has just revealed that violence against Indonesian women is widespread.The nationwide survey was commissioned by Indonesia’s Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, and was carried out by the Central Statistics Agency, with assistance from UNFPA, last year.

Some 9,000 households were surveyed in 83 districts, across 24 provinces. It used a methodology designed to collect sensitive information. Enumerators were trained in gender issues and conducted the survey in one-on-one interviews.

The survey look at four types of violence: physical, sexual, emotional and economic. Emotional violence includes threats, humiliation, intimidation and insults. Economic violence includes not allowing a person to work or confiscating a person’s money.

The preliminary findings, released in March, revealed that two in five Indonesian women – or just over 41 per cent – have experienced at least one of these four types of violence in her lifetime. Sixteen per cent had experienced one of these types of violence in the last year.

“The data are sobering. It shows that violence against women happens around us,” said UNFPA’s representative in Indonesia, Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson.

Over 33 per cent of women, aged 15 to 64 years old, had experienced physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime. This number is consistent with global figures on gender-based violence.

The survey also collected information on restrictions or limitations to women’s freedom – such as being prevented from seeing friends, communicating with family, performing religious practices or seeking health care without permission. More than 42 per cent of women reported experiencing such restrictions.

A spotlight is now being shined on the supportive services required to meet the needs of survivors.

“Survivors need quality comprehensive support to break out of the cycle of violence and rebuild their lives,” said Dr. Robertson.

his scheme includes protection, legal assistance, medical assistance and counselling, as well as empowerment programmes to give women the confidence and skills to support themselves. Awareness of gender issues and violence against women must also be raised. Currently, some of these services are being provided by police, women’s organizations and civil society groups, including faith-based organizations. But much more is needed.

Vennetia Danes, of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, said her office will strengthen its efforts to respond to the needs of survivors, and to prevent violence from taking place. “The findings are strong evidence for policies to end violence against women,” she said.

Anggia Ermarini, chairperson of the faith-based women’s group Fatayat NU, said more attention must also be paid to perpetrators of violence. Interventions, including counselling, can help change their behaviour. Fatayat NU currently provides counselling and service for survivors.

Source- UN Women